Displaying items by tag: recovery
New jobless data was released this morning and it took the market by surprise. Economists had been calling for new jobless claims to stay around the level of recent weeks—something around 695,00. But what happened was quite eye-opening: they came in at 853,000. The losses show that the economy is starting to feel renewed impacts of the surge in COVID cases. According to a job market expert, “Job destruction has not come to an end … We might be gaining jobs overall, but thousands of people are losing their jobs every week because demand has not returned”. Markets dipped on the release.
FINSUM: This is worrying for the economy. Hard to say if this trend will continue, but certainly not the direction markets have been predicting the economy would be heading.
Okay maybe it’s not a “boom” but it is certainly a “boomlet”. Alongside all the uncertainty in markets surrounding the election, value stocks have been having a moment in the sun. The reason why is interesting and seems to be two-part: one aspect is idiosyncratic, the other more macro. On the idiosyncratic front, many bank employees tend to get very conservative with their investments at this time of year because many financial companies end their fiscal year’s before December 31st. What those employees do is sell their winners and buy beaten up value stocks. It happens every year, but the effect might be bigger this year because tech stocks have gained so much. On the macro front, one big thing helping value stocks is that the COVID vaccine has given hope to “normal” economy companies. Those stocks have done very poorly this year, so are squarely in the “value” category.
FINSUM: If a vaccine is widely available soon—and people actually take it—a return to some version of the pre-COVID economy is seems likely. That said, things will have changed and there will be some stocks that continue to struggle. Choose wisely.
The market has been turned on its head. For the last nine months there has been a clear delineation in the market: stocks that benefit from work-from-home and other social distancing measures thrive, and those shares which did well in the “old” economy struggle. Yesterday, that got turned upside. The market surged on the most legitimate and detailed announcement of vaccine success yet, and that sparked a reversal of fortune for WFH stocks. Despite the Dow rallying almost 5%, the Nasdaq fell well over 1%, showing the strong divergence in shares. Stocks like Boeing, Raytheon, GE, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines rocketed, often jumping by 15% or more. The cruise lines were up by as such as 40%! But the big winners of the year—like Zoom—fell big-time, with Zoom’s shares down 17%.
FINSUM: If you were short the COVID-economy yesterday you did very well. The thing is, this market seems to be getting a little ahead of itself because of the fairly long timeline for approval and distribution of the vaccine.
There has been a big change of opinion for investors over the last two weeks or so. For almost all of this year, a Biden victory, and especially a blue sweep were seen as potential negatives for the economy vis-à-vis a Trump reelection. Any gains in the polls for Democrats was seen as a negative for the economic outlook, particularly because of the chance for higher taxes. However, the rising odds for a blue sweep have managed to assuage an even bigger fear for investors—a contested election that could drag on for months. Accordingly, gains in the polls for Democrats have seen rising markets. Goldman Sachs feels strongly enough to say this: “All else equal, a blue wave would likely prompt us to upgrade our [US economic growth] forecasts”.
FINSUM: We think there are two specific reasons perceptions have changed. Firstly, the decreased chances for a contested election (very arguable if that is actually true); and secondly, the odds for bigger stimulus and infrastructure packages, which would be positive for the economy.
A lot of investors are hoping a new government stimulus package will be a shot in the arm for markets. However, the reality might be something much more disappointing. While a deal would be a nice benefit for the economy, the weight of an autumn case surge and a highly volatile election are heavy on the shoulders of markets. According to one market strategist at Miller Tabak, “We believe an agreement on a new fiscal plan is likely, but we’re not so sure it will help the stock market rally in a sustainable way. The market is still quite overvalued and the combination of the weakening employment picture plus a second wave of the virus does not bode well for any improvement for the ‘E’ part [earnings] of the P/E ratio going forward”.
FINSUM: The stimulus deal will likely be good for a 0.50% move in indexes, but with little continued benefits. It just doesn’t seem enough to re-spark the bull market given everything else going on.